Breen and McErlean’s prep events for next WRC outings

Ireland’s leading World Rally Championship drivers Craig Breen and Josh McErlean will tackle events in Italy and Portugal ahead of their next WRC outings.

Earlier this week, Breen announced that he will bid for his third Rally Sanremo victory in succession. The M-Sport factory driver won the rally in 2021 and 2019 alongside Paul Nagle but will be co-driven by John Rowan this time around.

Breen will pilot a Ford Fiesta Rally2 on the famous asphalt event which takes place on 8-9 April. It’s the third different car for Breen in three attempts – his previous wins came in Hyundai and Skoda’s equivalent R5s.

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Italy’s north-western rally is steeped in history, running for the 69th time in 2022. Breen’s chance at a Sanremo hat-trick combines with asphalt preparation for Croatia Rally which takes place two weeks later.

After a disappointing Rally Sweden, Breen will be hoping for a positive result in Croatia, his third event behind the wheel of the Ford Puma Rally1. M-Sport’s Puma performance was much heralded after WRC’s asphalt opener in Monte-Carlo.

Meanwhile, Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy driver Josh McErlean will use the Terras d’Aboboreira Rally to bed himself into gravel ahead of his next WRC 2 round, Rally Portugal.

McErlean will continue to use his Hyundai i20 Rally2 in a sequence of events that mirrors his two snow rallies in February. The 22-year-old narrowly missed out on a top-ten finish on last year’s Terras d’Aboboreira Rally but subsequently used the experience to seal his first top-five WRC 3 finish on Rally Portugal.

He’ll aim for similar improvements on his brace of events in Portugal this time around.

The visit also gives McErlean’s co-driver James Fulton a chance to sample the iconic gravel stages in North Portugal.

Photos courtesy of Hyundai and M-Sport

Adam Hall

Brought up in the Irish countryside, Adam was never far away from the world of rallying. From following local events like the Circuit of Ireland and the Ulster Rally, Adam now puts the stories from stages all around the world into words through his website Rally Insight.

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